Cost differences in VHA acute and subacute rehabilitation units: Implications for VHA resource planning

W. Bruce Vogel, Tracey E. Barnett, Dean Reker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the top tier of postacute rehabilitation care is provided in acute rehabilitation bedservice units (ARBUs). The next level of care is provided in subacute rehabilitation bedservice units (SRBUs). We fitted reduced-form and structural models to explain VHA cost differences between ARBUs and SRBUs across time and for the individual cost components. We included sociodemographic variables, time since stroke onset, care facility, and the Functional Independence Measure at admission as explanatory variables. The multivariable results indicate that total index stay costs are lower in ARBUs by almost $6,000 (or approximately 25%) compared with SRBUs. Moreover, the lower costs observed in ARBUs in this study combined with the higher rates of guideline compliance and improved outcomes in ARBUs found in previous work suggest that stroke rehabilitation in an ARBU may be more cost-effective than stroke rehabilitation in an SRBU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-440
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Acute units/subacute units
  • Cost
  • Functional status
  • Guidelines
  • Lengths of stay
  • Outcomes
  • Planning
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Vha

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